A good setup is so critical to getting the most out of your ERG

skinstripper

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Just putting my thoughts on paper, so to speak.

Was seriously thinking about selling my Swedish Strandberg 8 for a bit, you know how it is - GAS for something else, bills to pay, etc.

My main concern was that the lower strings just seemed to be not right. Sounded brutal, yes, but they lacked that kind of percussive and rhythmic quality that I think an instrument tuned as low as F# or E really needs to have that grind, clack and pop similar to a good bass guitar.

So while I was sitting there staring at Reverb, waiting for my axe to sell, I thought I'd re-set up the guitar. Changed the neck bow, brought the strings down lower, adjusted the pickup height, brought the action down at the bridge.

And what do you know, there it was: An instrument of total sonic devastation. The tone has improved immensely and what I was most impressed with was that with higher gain, it has suddenly gained a whole lot more definition and impact. Massive.

Needless to say, I was immensely pleased and the guitar is now off the market.
Yep, great story. Setup is everything. The first thing I did when I got my Jackson 8 FF was set the intonation and neck. Took a few days for it to settle but now it plays like a beast. \m/
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

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I just recently did some more work on an Ibanez Artwood acoustic guitar that I've had for 18-ish years, and over the years I have lowered the nut slots, bridge saddle, and recently, I lowered it some more after switching to 11's from 13's, and now I have it playing nearly as comfortable as any of my electric guitars. I let time help with the adjustment because each instrument has to acclimate to its new setup. I try not to make real drastic changes in one process, just for precision in the final outcome.
 

zenonshandro

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...needless to say, I was immensely pleased and the guitar is now off the market.

Chiming in to support OP's sentiments.

I am currently playing a Damien Platinum 9 (the 30" scale Schecter with the bats on the fretboard) and it had been such a struggle getting it to feel right. Most of the string gauges that you can find in ready to buy packs and even in Kalium sets just don't fit the bill as far as what I'm looking for in tension.

I tune the thing BF#BEADGBE most of the time and need a tight enough low B with the top three strings being bendable so I can still play lead and solos. I ended up getting the 9 string set from Ernie Ball 105-80-64-46-34-24-16-11-9 and the top 3 were way too tight.

On Amazon I found 13, 10 and 7 guage singles from D'Addario (which have to be added onto a larger purchase before they ship) to replace the top 3 and after lowering the action to taste (low as f***, considerable but consistent fret buzz on all notes) it plays like a dream. The .007 has not broken after about 10 hours of play ad seems stable.

Needless to say, it's so awesome how important the little adjustments are, as they can breathe life into the instrument and bring back the joy of playing.

I can fly around the thing with very little effort now, and the stretch of the 30" scale feels like the only thing differentiating this from a perfectly set up six string 25 1/2" scale shredder.

I also discovered that my bridge pickup was too high and was causing buzz when I fretted high notes on the high e string. Almost embarrassing that it took me so long to notice this but sometimes you have to start from the beginning and take stock of all those little things as if it's the first time with the instrument. Maybe if you treat it like it's the first day you got it, it'll feel like the first time again?

749699126287-73895afeb2e128198f7bd31ec32b4439.jpg DAMIEN PLATINUM 9 SBK TILT.png
 

GunpointMetal

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@zenonshandro I would buy the fuck out of the guitar if not for the inlays. Played the 8-string version and it was butter, I just can't get past the aesthetic. Doesn't a 105 for B feel like spaghetti, though?
 

zenonshandro

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Yeah, I definitely would like to try a .110 at B and see how that is. 105 is a little bit loose. I'm a very light player though with an energy conserving picking style, don't slam the strings hard at all, so it's doable.

For now this is the least modification to an existing set I can do.

Would be cool to have a custom, all D'Addario, even-tension set ending up with a .110 / .115 on the bottom and have the string taper actually happening behind the nut...

That's the other thing. On this forum I've read all over the place that strings were useless (in certain people's opinions) if the taper isn't behind the nut, but never known the specific reason why. I always thought "ah f*** it, it can't be that big of a deal" but I have been noticing on my low B there's a heavy presence of a minor 7th harmonic overtone (similar to those natural harmonics Just between the 3rd and 4th frets) when the open note rings out. Would this be due to the string not being full thickness all the way to the nut?
 

zenonshandro

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@zenonshandro I would buy the fuck out of the guitar if not for the inlays. Played the 8-string version and it was butter, I just can't get past the aesthetic.

I totally feel you on that. I ate it because it was the only production 9 string I could get for just over $1,000 Canadian with a 30" scale. At first I was 50% on the bats, didn't mind them, then I took off the truss rod cover, which made for a whole lot less silver on the guitar and made the overall look more subtle...

But now I wish for F's sake they would have just put side dots on the thing.
 

Winspear

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It could be, yeah. More noticeable is the fact that the string sits lower than intended , closer to the frets, and would be more likely to buzz on open notes. This could mean the string is almost contacting the fret there, and buzzing off it causing almost a tapped harmonic.
 

trem licking

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Chiming in to support OP's sentiments.

I am currently playing a Damien Platinum 9 (the 30" scale Schecter with the bats on the fretboard) and it had been such a struggle getting it to feel right. Most of the string gauges that you can find in ready to buy packs and even in Kalium sets just don't fit the bill as far as what I'm looking for in tension.

I tune the thing BF#BEADGBE most of the time and need a tight enough low B with the top three strings being bendable so I can still play lead and solos. I ended up getting the 9 string set from Ernie Ball 105-80-64-46-34-24-16-11-9 and the top 3 were way too tight.

On Amazon I found 13, 10 and 7 guage singles from D'Addario (which have to be added onto a larger purchase before they ship) to replace the top 3 and after lowering the action to taste (low as f***, considerable but consistent fret buzz on all notes) it plays like a dream. The .007 has not broken after about 10 hours of play ad seems stable.

Needless to say, it's so awesome how important the little adjustments are, as they can breathe life into the instrument and bring back the joy of playing.

I can fly around the thing with very little effort now, and the stretch of the 30" scale feels like the only thing differentiating this from a perfectly set up six string 25 1/2" scale shredder.

I also discovered that my bridge pickup was too high and was causing buzz when I fretted high notes on the high e string. Almost embarrassing that it took me so long to notice this but sometimes you have to start from the beginning and take stock of all those little things as if it's the first time with the instrument. Maybe if you treat it like it's the first day you got it, it'll feel like the first time again?

View attachment 75454 View attachment 75455
I have ran a .008 and now have a .007 high E string on my 28" guitar with a Floyd... I do huge bends and pullups (sometimes simultaneously) on it and it has not broke since I've had it on there (almost a year now?). I tell everyone to rock those .007s with confidence, no need for those fan frets heh
 

Winspear

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Yeah, the weaker strength of a thin string is counteracted by its lesser tension. It's more prone to break just from pick attack, but that's not really a risk when ran at low tension. That said I never felt it necessary to go that light. 28 / 25.5 = 1.09 , so you can divide your usual E by 1.09 as a rule of thumb. The lightest I ever go on standard scale is 9 or 9.5, so 8.5 at the least is fine for me on 28. Usually I'm happy with a 9 at that length (similar to a regular scale 10) , but I'm no shredder haha
 

trem licking

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Yeah, the weaker strength of a thin string is counteracted by its lesser tension. It's more prone to break just from pick attack, but that's not really a risk when ran at low tension. That said I never felt it necessary to go that light. 28 / 25.5 = 1.09 , so you can divide your usual E by 1.09 as a rule of thumb. The lightest I ever go on standard scale is 9 or 9.5, so 8.5 at the least is fine for me on 28. Usually I'm happy with a 9 at that length (similar to a regular scale 10) , but I'm no shredder haha
right on. im fine with a pack of 9s on a 25.5" guitar but lately i have been building my own d'addario progressive tension sets with an 8 on the bottom, so that's why i go with a .007 on anything longer than 27". I like really light strings on my trem'd guitars (nearly all of them haha), as it makes bending significantly easier, obviously, and it just feels nicer. i have to admit at first i thought I'd be busting that .007 left and right, so i bought a couple of extras for experimentation. have not had to use the spares yet so i spread the word as often as i can to let people know that its ok to be super thin
 

zenonshandro

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... string sits lower than intended , closer to the frets, and would be more likely to buzz on open notes. This could mean the string is almost contacting the fret there, and buzzing off it causing almost a tapped harmonic.

Of course! Good call! Fret-induced natural harmonic from sitting too low in the nut. It is really buzzy, so that must be it.
 

Winspear

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A quick fix without the right string is putting a little bit (really little!) of rolled up paper in the nut. You'll want it infront of the nut so it's pulled in when you tune the string up. Sounds dumb but it works pretty perfectly haha
 

stockwell

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I got my ERG 27-30" set up and I'm still not really happy with the setup. I have it in F standard right now with a .90 and a .74 on the bottom strings, and I still feel like it's too loose. The tuning is too wobbly and there's not enough tension on the low strings. I pick pretty hard but I'm starting to wonder if there's another issue. How do people walk around tuning to double drop D on a 28" with a .74 or whatever, and F on a 30" with a .90 feels so loose for me? I'm starting to feel like I'm crazy.
 

Winspear

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I got my ERG 27-30" set up and I'm still not really happy with the setup. I have it in F standard right now with a .90 and a .74 on the bottom strings, and I still feel like it's too loose. The tuning is too wobbly and there's not enough tension on the low strings. I pick pretty hard but I'm starting to wonder if there's another issue. How do people walk around tuning to double drop D on a 28" with a .74 or whatever, and F on a 30" with a .90 feels so loose for me? I'm starting to feel like I'm crazy.

Just a matter of taste really! Most people have gotten used to lower tension the lower they tune, due to string sets generally lacking plus not compensating the gauge when dropping the bottom string.
Can I assume you are the type who would use 52-56 for standard tuning standard scale? Plenty such people exist, and are unlucky with their requirements should they venture into extended range. This tension isn't ridiculous - very enjoyable and has its benefits. It's also completely ordinary on acoustic guitar for a strong, noise free tone. It's worth mentioning 30" gives the string more play to vibrate (which is why it sounds better), so whilst it does increase the tension compared to a shorter scale, you might not find it reduces the gauge much. In other words I'd probably use almost same string for the same tuning on 28 or 30 and just benefit from better tone and tension on the longer scale.
Your string is at 25lbs, about the same as a 54 E on a standard scale, normal acoustic guitar tension, normal 30" baritone bass VI tension, and around half the tension of bass strings - just heavier than a lot of guitarists are used to, especially those tuning low. Personally it makes a perfect E and acceptable Eb for me at that length.
If you don't want to go heavier, maybe raise the action a touch? I find that has a great effect on perceived tension and of course buzz
 

Winspear

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I got my ERG 27-30" set up and I'm still not really happy with the setup. I have it in F standard right now with a .90 and a .74 on the bottom strings, and I still feel like it's too loose. The tuning is too wobbly and there's not enough tension on the low strings. I pick pretty hard but I'm starting to wonder if there's another issue. How do people walk around tuning to double drop D on a 28" with a .74 or whatever, and F on a 30" with a .90 feels so loose for me? I'm starting to feel like I'm crazy.

I was about to say: If you do want to reduce the gauge for tonal brightness and get used to less tension, make sure the set is balanced. I find light tension much more acceptable when it's not just the one or two bottom strings that are loose, as is so often the case with ERGs. I also missed something important - that might be part of the problem here. Your 74 is much tighter still than the 90 so may be making it feel loose in perspective. I don't know what set you are using but given that, I'd say the rest of the set may be similar. If you're in standard, decrease gauge 25% across each string. That is to say that 90 F might be more acceptable to you if you pair it with a 68, 52, 40 etc, rather than a 74 and whatever you've got after it - the 74 is calling for a 98 to match!
 

stockwell

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I'm using a custom Stringjoy set. I picked the .90 because it was the heaviest guitar string they offered. I'm absolutely happy to use bigger strings, I actually like the bassier tone and I like smacking fat bridge cables around. I think my tuners are drilled to accommodate up to 1.08, so I might try going higher.

I do think I should go back and improve the setup. The action is pretty dang high, and the neck is also a bit bowed. I haven't tried tightening the truss. Also I haven't been able to intonate the bottom two strings well at all. I can't pull the bridge saddles back any further because the screw/spring are in the way. Might try to find a smaller screw and see if I can pull them back farther.
 

Grindspine

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I ran my action too low....like literally to what they call a level “2”, below a 3, which is standard shred......and then the winter hit and the neck bowed a bit...now i got fret buzz i cant stop in the middle strings......

Any suggestions? Raising the trem didnt work and i dont want to put in shims, and it was just set up, like a month ago, it was perfect

Any ideas

If the fret rattle is coming from around the 9th fret, you need to relieve the neck (add some bow).
 

Winspear

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I'm using a custom Stringjoy set. I picked the .90 because it was the heaviest guitar string they offered.

Cool, if you stick with 90 I recommend checking out some gauges somewhat similar to my 10.5-90 set here to improve the balance - Stringjoy offers customisation https://www.winspearinstrumental.com/pages/strings?variant=12374073081928
But if you're happy to go heavier, go ahead! You could add 5% or 10% to each gauge for example, this would retain the balance. I know new company I am friends with called The String Source recently introduce a 100 gauge and offers balanced sets like mine.
 

Russian Robot

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I'm pretty sure it's a thing that death metal bassists set their action low and intentionally snap/pop the strings against the fret board. At least, I've heard that that's key to that "clanky" sound. Wonder how well we can apply that to guitar.

No thx. Fret buzz = string-fret contact = sad pinch harmonic sustain.
 


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